Hi – I’m Ernesto and welcome to Caldera, a Mexican-inspired restaurant offering a refined version of traditional Mexican dishes.
My earliest memory of cooking was when I tried to cook pancakes for my mum and sister as a surprise when I was 12 years old. I mis-read 2 ½ cups of milk for 21 ½ cups and felt so ashamed that I wanted to learn how to cook properly and what began as a necessity, developed into a love.
Caldera was a brainchild of me and my co-founder, Arya, when we met through a mutual friend in 2014 one night in Hackney. Arya was then working for an asset management company in The City; he had just returned from a trip to Mexico and was raving about how amazing the food was, but that most of the restaurants were either chains or all looked the same and didn’t do the food any justice. I agreed and felt that London needed a restaurant similar to what Dishoom is for Indian cuisine – breaking away from the stereotypes and shining a light on its vast array of gastronomy.
In 2015, Arya left finance and immersed himself in the world of hospitality and fell in love with the industry and reached out to me in 2018 to team up on a new project creating Mexican food that people had not tried before.
Fast forward to 2018 and we began creating our menu and our concept. Through my experience with Asian cuisine, I was keen on combining Asian and Mexican ingredients to redefine traditional dishes. Our grilled octopus with black chichilo-goma ashes is a wonderful dish that shows how ingredients from all over the world can be combined to truly create something better and unique.
We believe in diversity and drawing inspiration from different cultures, which is why we named ourselves caldera, meaning cauldron, which reflects the influence of different cultures on our food and our identity.